THE EXPERIENCE OF MENTAL ILLNESS

ATTITUDES TOWARD MENTAL ILLNESS

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS

DEFINING MENTAL ILLNESS

PREVALENCE - United States and Worldwide

Among Children and Adolescents
Among the Elderly
Among the Poor and Among Men and Women
Changing Rates of Mental Illness

KINDS OF MENTAL ILLNESSES

Anxiety Disorders and Mood Disorders
Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
Personality and Cognitive Disorders
Dissociative, Somatoform and Factitious Disorders
Substance-Related, Eating and Impulse-Control Disorders

CAUSES OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Biological Perspective
Psychodynamic, Humanistic and Existential Perspectives
Behavioral, Cognitive and Sociocultural Perspective

DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT

Drug Therapy
Individual Psychotherapy
Group and Family Therapies
Electroconvulsive Therapy and Psychosurgery
Treatment Settings
Treatment in Non-Western Countries


HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES OF MENTAL ILLNESS



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Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment for severe depression in which an electrical current is passed through the patientís brain for one or two seconds to induce a controlled seizure. The treatments are repeated over a period of several weeks. For unknown reasons, ECT often relieves severe depression even when drug therapy and psychotherapy have failed. The treatment has created controversy because its side effects may include confusion and memory loss. Both of these effects, however, are usually temporary. (Electroconvulsive Therapy, Psychosurgery, Mental Illness)

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), technique for treating psychiatric patients, in which seizures similar to those of epilepsy are induced by passing a current of electricity through the forehead. ECT produces dramatic improvements in many psychiatric symptoms, especially depression, and is often used to prevent patients from committing suicide. Initially tried in the late 1930s, ECT was the first form of therapy that reliably reduced severe depression. Until the introduction of the major antipsychotic drugs in the 1950s, ECT was used widely; it then fell into a decline. Recently, however, practitioners are again using the technique more frequently, largely because undesirable side effects accompany long-term use of psychotropic medications. (Electroconvulsive Therapy, Psychosurgery, Mental Illness)

When ECT was first used, patients frequently suffered fractures while having convulsions, but muscle relaxant drugs are now routinely used to prevent such fractures. Patients are also anesthetized, and they feel no shock. Another modern practice involves applying the electric current to only the nondominant side of the brain, thus reducing the loss of memory, which is the most troubling side effect of ECT. Unilateral ECT is, however, less effective than bilateral ECT. (Electroconvulsive Therapy, Psychosurgery, Mental Illness)

Because of the memory loss and the inherently unappealing nature of ECT, it has been among the most controversial treatments in psychiatry. It is effective in relieving severe depression, and therefore its use has continued. (Electroconvulsive Therapy, Psychosurgery, Mental Illness)

Psychosurgery

Even more controversial than ECT is psychosurgery, the surgical removal or destruction of sections of the brain in order to reduce severe and chronic psychiatric symptoms. The best known example of psychosurgery is the lobotomy, a procedure developed by Portuguese neurologist Antůnio Egas Moniz that was widely performed in the 1940s and early 1950s. Psychosurgery is now rarely performed because no research has proven it effective and because it can produce drastic changes in personality and behavior. (Electroconvulsive Therapy, Psychosurgery, Mental Illness)

Electroconvulsive Therapy | Psychosurgery | Mental Illness